Asian Horizon


34 Victoria Street
London, SW1H 0EU
United Kingdom
Date began: 
01 Jan 1948
Precise date began unknown: 
Date ended: 
01 Jan 1951
Precise date ended unknown: 

In the editorial of its inaugural edition, this short-lived periodical states its aim ‘to provide a forum for the discussion of the problems facing this new Asia and those who seek to work in harmony with the countries of the East’. Triggered by the newly independent status of Asian nations, it sought to give a voice to their peoples in order to enable western readers to gain better access to this region of the world. Asian Horizon published short fiction and poetry, essays on different areas and aspects of the continent, and book reviews. Examples include a short story titled ‘The Liar’ by Mulk Raj Anand, a poem by the London-based Aga Bashir, and essays on contemporary Pakistani fiction and an exhibition of Asian artists held in London in 1950. Produced and published in London, it included work by several contributors based in the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Asia, as well as in Britain.

Key Individuals' Details: 

Dorothy Woodman (editor), D. P. Chaudhuri (assistant editor).

Editorial associates: Vernon Bartlett, Jack Cranmer-Byng, Maung Ohn, Hurustiati Subandrio, Poey Ungphakorn, Nguyen Van-Nhan, Chun-Chan Yeh.


Contributors: Stanley Abeyasinghe, Mulk Raj Anand, Aga Bashir, A. S. Bokhari, A. S. Bozman, Ismat Chugtai, Chitra Fernando, Abdul Majid, Aslam Malik, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Kenneth Lo, M. Masud, Lester Peries, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, B. Rajan, G. P. Rajaratnam, S. Raja Ratnam, Suhdir Sen, Feliks Topolski, Ranjita Sarath Chandra, Khushwant Singh, M. J. Tambimuttu, Beryl de Zoete.

Books Reviewed Include: 

Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish, The Bugbear of Literacy (London: Dennis Dobson, 1949)

Gandhi, M. K. The Story of my Experiments with Truth: An Autobiography, trans. Mahadev Desai (London: Phoenix Press, 1949)

Polak, H. S. L., Brailsford, H. N. and Pethick-Lawrence, F. W., Mahatma Gandhi (London: Odhams Press, 1948)


Lo, Kenneth, Asian Horizon 2.4 (Spring 1950), p. 41


The extract is taken from a review of an exhibition of Asian artists sponsored and arranged by Asian Horizon and funded by D. P. Chaudhuri who founded the Asian Institute a few months previously.


In the past there have been in London exhibitions of the works of individual artists from Asia. The exhibition at the Asian Institute Gallery during the third week in April was the first time that a joint exhibition had been arranged. It was quite a conglomeration of artistic works, some of no small value, as various and as wide apart as the traditions and background of Asia. During the ten days of the exhibition, it was viewed by over 1,000 people.

Neville Wallis of the ‘Observer’ described the exhibition thus: ‘…East and West meet most happily in the mysterious, decorative paintings of A. D. Thomas, an Indian Christian.’

The New Statesman reporter described his impression thus:

‘The exhibits themselves vary in quality even more than in most shows. I liked particularly a fresco by a Pakistan painter. There was distinguished work from each country. The Chinese seems to be least influenced by the tradition of the West. Even when they paint an English seaside resort it is just as Chinese as Pekin. The outstanding Indian painter is A. D. Thomas and, amongst the others, Mr. Abeyasinghe deserves to be as well known here as he is in Ceylon.’


That an exhibition of Asian artists was held in the metropolis – and that it was well attended – suggests a degree of receptiveness to the work of South Asian (as well as other Asian) artists on the part of the British. It is probable that this receptiveness was increasing in the wake of Indian independence. The comments by both reviewers signal an element of hybridity, or a cross-fertilization of ideas, in the work of South Asian artists in this period.

Archive source: 

British Library, St Pancras